This morning while I was on Facebook I saw a post on a new mom who was beyond overwhelmed on the birth of her twins. As a mom of twins, I can relate so well. One baby is hard enough. But two?! Two is a whole different story! Any new mom and dad can be floored with one baby screaming and crying and pooping and such, but two at a time is a whole different life game! Who gets fed first? Who gets changed first? When you finally get done one task with one, you have to repeat with the other! PHEW!!!!
But this isn't about having one, two or three babies at a time. Its about the after effects of having a baby or babies. That's not something people really talk about and there are a lot of changes. One statistic says that more divorces happen after the birth of a child because the parents didn't know how to deal well with the changes. I am so blessed to be with a very supportive and understanding man. He and I have worked through the birth of 6 children including a set of twins. He was with me through Post Partum Depression, 3 times over. Yes, you can feel sorry for him! I do, now.
The physical changes are the most noticeable. Sweating, bad cramping (even after lochia stops), weight loss, skin changes, loosing hair and tiredness. These can happen up to 4-5 months after birth. Thank all the hormones returning to normal, what ever that is, for that!
The mental changes, not so noticeable. The three biggies are The Baby Blues, Post Partum Depression and Post Partum Psychosis.
THE BABY BLUES: This is generally hormonal and strikes between 48 and 72 hours after you give birth lasting up to two weeks postpartum. SIGNS: crying, irritability, anger, exhaustion, tension, restlessness, anxiety, and possibly insomnia. This can happen to anyone!
POST PARTUM DEPRESSION: A smaller group of women will have postpartum depression. This is shown by a worsening of the normal symptoms, possibly postpartum panic or mania, even obsessive-compulsive disorders (repetitive thoughts that might be repulsive). Some women will even experience post traumatic stress disorders after a traumatic birth.
POST PARTUM PSYCHOSIS: This is the one I call the biggie! Some will go to the far extreme of Post Partum Depression, postpartum psychosis. This is normally seen with most of the previous symptoms, plus hallucinations, confusion or delusions, suicidal thoughts and visions or thoughts of harming their children. This is very serious and requires immediate attention for the safety of the mother and the baby.
Another thing to remember. Dads are going through changes as well. No longer is it just him and you. Now its a family. And he's the main caretaker of all of you. He might forget how overwhelmed the new momma is because he's fretting and overwhelmed himself. Share how you feel and don't be afraid to be honest. Make sure to tell him you still love him. Remember all those things you said in the delivery room???? Then ask him how he is. Don't be afraid! You are a unit raising little people!
And don't be afraid to be honest when loved ones ask how are you doing? Those closest to you really do care! And take up on those offers of help. Who knows when you might feel like doing laundry or cooking a meal again!
NOTE TO DADS: I fully get your overwhelmed yourself. But keeping busy at work, when you don't have to be there, of hiding out at a club or bar or another friends is not going to help! Let her know you think she still attractive, that you love her and the child(ren) and kiss her! Take a feeding or a changing. Do laundry or dishes. Most of all, make sure she knows you are there for her. Took 2 to make that baby after all!
I know parts of this wont apply to some as they are single moms. New moms are new moms and single moms need a good support. No matter if they are with a partner, male or female or alone. Grandparents, best friends, neighbor's are all in on helping new moms! Talk to those you love and trust.
And finally. New dads who have to fill the mom's role, for whatever reason, can suffer from the Baby Blues as well. Although it isn't hormonal in nature, any new parent can get blue and overwhelmed.
As always, I welcome any and all comments on my post.